An NCT is required every two years for all cars in Ireland that are over 4 years old excluding cars permanently based on an Island not connected to the mainland by road and cars registered before 1980. Upon successfully completing the test an NCT disc will be issued which is valid for a period of two years for vehicles less than 10 years old and is valid for one year for vehicles over ten years old.
It is an offence to drive a car that is liable for testing without a valid NCT.
The following information will give you details on when a car would be due an NCT, how to prepare your vehicle, details on what will be examined and where to go to get a car tested.
When do Cars need to be tested
All eligible cars eligible should be tested on or before the anniversary date of first registration of the car in the country of origin. There is no link with motor tax or insurance expiry date.
When a car is due an NCT the NCTS will contact the owner in advance of the anniversary date of the first registration of the car and a provisional appointment for the test will be offered which the owner must confirm attendance or rearrange.
You can test your vehicle up to 90 days in advance of the anniversary of your registration date. Please note that testing your vehicle within the 90 day period will not alter the date on which your vehicle falls due for the NCT each year nor will it extend the NCT certificate expiry date.
You can also check whether a car is due an NCT by contacting the NCTS on 01-413 5992 or via their online facility at www.ncts.ie where upon typing in the cars registration number and date of first registration of the vehicle the valid date will be provided.
The following tips give advice on how to prepare a car in advance of the test.
1. Your car has adequate oil and water.
2. The boot is empty and seats are clear of personal belongings such as removable baby seats. If the baby seat is left in the car for the NCT, it will be checked that it is fitted correctly.
3. The vehicle is reasonably clean (especially the under body).
4. The wheel hubcaps are removed (only in the case where the wheel nuts are not visible) and the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure.
5. The engine is in a fit state to be tested e.g. Cam belt/timing belt. You may be asked to sign a disclaimer at the test centre.
6. Seat belts and clips are fully visible.
7. Your registration plates comply with current regulations.
8. NCTS recommend that you have your lights checked and set prior to the NCT.
9. Please ensure the person who brings the car for inspection brings identification with them in the form of a driving licence as failure to provide the required identification will result in the vehicle not being issued an NCT certificate at the time of testing.
10. Please ensure your vehicle is at a normal operating temperature prior to arriving at the test centre for inspection.
11. Don’t forget to bring your vehicle registration book, registration certificate or licensing certificate and your test fee!
Note- If the above items are not taken care of this may result in the NCT Centre being unable to test the vehicle.
Where are Vehicles inspected and what to expect
There are 47 NCT Centres located throughout Ireland established solely for the purposes of car testing and full details of them can be found on the ncts website. Vehicles can be booked in online at www.ncts.ie or alternatively by phone Tel: 01-413 5992.
On the day of the test the vehicle registration book, registration certificate or licensing certificate will be required together with the test fee of €55.00 or re-test fee of €28.00. NCTS will accept cash, Laser/Debit cards and all major credit cards (excluding American Express) however cheques will not be accepted.
Note: Re-tests, which do not require the use of test equipment are free. Free re-tests cover minor items such as a visual inspection to check that faulty windscreen wipers have been replaced.
The following are some of the things that will be inspected during the test;
- Exhaust Emissions
- Chassis and Underbody
- Wheels and Tyres
- Fuel System
- Steering and Suspension
- Glass and Mirrors
- Electrical systems
- Miscellaneous items
Note: If the car fails the inspection a re-test must be booked within 21 days of the initial test.
Further information can be found on the National Car Test by visiting their website.